If you’re not proactively using social media, you should at the very least be monitoring what is being said about you and your organisation online. Everyone should be taking at least 30mins at least three times a week to scour the net and monitor what is being said. It is vital that everyone monitors their online reputation. If you stay passive, you might lose business.
Social media is not a set and forget tool. Social media is an avenue for two-way communication. Your target market is out there, trying to converse with you, and if you don’t reply or provide feedback, not only are you damaging your reputation, you could possibly be affecting your bottom line.
Social media is vital to your reputation, reach, awareness, relationship building and promotion of your business.
A great way to have a continuous ‘ear to the ground’ and keeping a look out for what is being said about your organisation on the web, is subscribing to Google Alerts. It’s an extremely useful tool to see what the world is saying about you, or any topic of your choice. Google Alerts are based on your keywords and any website mentioning those keywords will land in your inbox.
For all others who are using social media – you should be aiming for at least 1-2hrs each week –per social media network, i.e. if you have Twitter and Facebook – that can be between 2-4 hours per week – purely dedicated to managing those two networks.
Since social media networks come in different shapes and forms, a ‘one size fits all’ strategy is not suitable for the travel and tourism industry.
First off, identify your target market. The majority of ‘tourists’ use YouTube, TripAdvisor, Google Maps, Facebook, and Twitter. If in doubt, ask your customers what online social media network they belong to. Ask other professionals in your industry what they find is useful and the most beneficial for their business.
Food for thought…. Any activity you do as an organisation, create a social media policy.
It’s extremely important for every company engaging in social media to set some “house rules” for those who want to engage with your brand/organisation whilst on your social pages. Setting guidelines gives your community members an understanding of what is deemed acceptable behaviour and the content that they are permitted to share, i.e. no cursing, posting irrelevant content (spamming), obscene, defamatory, threatening, harassing, discriminatory or using copyrighted material without permission etc.
We hope you’ve enjoyed the read thus far, and feel a little surer of the social media world.